Mehbooba seeks smart city status for Jammu, Srinagar from PM

New Delhi: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include Srinagar and Jammu — the two capitals of Jammu and Kashmir — in the central government’s smart city project.

Mehbooba called on Modi in Delhi in a first meeting with the prime minister since taking over as the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on April 4.

The two discussed the developmental and political situation in the state, an official statement by the state government said,

“During the meeting, both the leaders deliberated upon several wide-ranging issues concerning the state. (Mehbooba) urged Narendra Modi to favourably consider the inclusion of the two capital cities in the ‘Smart Cities Mission’.”

The mission is an urban renewal programme of the government under which 100 cities all over the country will be developed with a sharp focus on infrastructure, land use planning, transport, design and architecture. The state government had hoped that Srinagar and Jammu will feature in the list of 100 cities.

However, the central government didn’t include them. This was one of the issues that had stalled the PDP-BJP government formation in the state after the death of then chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in January.

The state government statement appeared silent over Modi’s response to Mehbooba’s demand.

It said that the chief minister also “requested for an additional allocation of 4.30 lakh metric tonne foodgrains over and above the targeted public distribution system fixed under National Food Security Act”.

Mehbooba also sought Modi’s intervention in expediting the central government’s “nod for continuation of special dispensation of 50 percent in promotion quota in All India Services (AIS) for state service officers for another five years, beyond December 31, 2013”.

“The prime minister assured the chief minister of centre’s full support in the holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir.”